Bayer And Foundation Medicine Announce Global Collaboration To Develop Next-generation Sequencing (NGS)-based Companion Diagnostics In Oncology
- Collaboration will start with development of a companion diagnostic for Vitrakvi® (larotrectinib), the first and only TRK inhibitor approved in the U.S. for patients with TRK fusion cancer across all solid tumors; Vitrakvi is under review in other markets around the world
- Goal is to advance broad patient access to comprehensive genomic testing in line with Bayer’s commitment to precision medicine
Cambridge, Mass, USA / Berlin, Germany, May 29, 2019 -- Bayer AG and Foundation Medicine, Inc. today announced a global collaboration for the development and commercialization of NGS-based companion diagnostics. This agreement allows for collaboration across multiple oncology drug candidates and approved therapies developed by Bayer and covers Foundation Medicine’s full portfolio of tests, including FoundationOne®CDx. The first project will be to develop a companion diagnostic for Vitrakvi® (larotrectinib), the first and only TRK inhibitor approved in the U.S. for patients with TRK fusion cancer across all solid tumors.
In the United States, Vitrakvi is approved for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with solid tumors that have a neurotrophic tropomyosin receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusion without a known acquired resistance mutation that are either metastatic or where surgical resection will likely result in severe morbidity, and have no satisfactory alternative treatments or that have progressed following treatment.1 This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DOR). Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.
NGS based companion diagnostic tests aim to unlock molecular information from each patient’s tumor genome to guide treatment decisions for cancer therapies. FoundationOne®CDx is the first FDA-approved broad companion diagnostic for all solid tumors2.
“We are excited to collaborate with Foundation Medicine to develop new companion diagnostics and provide tools to move to a more personalized treatment approach,” said Robert LaCaze, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer's Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of the Oncology Strategic Business Unit at Bayer. “The development of a companion diagnostic for Vitrakvi, and our broader collaboration with Foundation Medicine, is an important step forward toward expanding access to testing and identifying the right treatment options for patients with cancer.”
“Foundation Medicine is proud to collaborate with Bayer to develop multiple companion diagnostics including a companion diagnostic for Vitrakvi,” stated Cindy Perettie, Foundation Medicine’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is imperative that patients receive broad comprehensive genomic profiling at initial diagnosis of late stage cancer to determine if they are eligible for these medicines.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Important Safety Information for VITRAKVI® (larotrectinib)
Neurotoxicity: Among the 176 patients who received VITRAKVI, neurologic adverse reactions of any grade occurred in 53% of patients, including Grade 3 and Grade 4 neurologic adverse reactions in 6% and 0.6% of patients, respectively. The majority (65%) of neurologic adverse reactions occurred within the first three months of treatment (range 1 day to 2.2 years). Grade 3 neurologic adverse reactions included delirium (2%), dysarthria (1%), dizziness (1%), gait disturbance (1%), and paresthesia (1%). Grade 4 encephalopathy (0.6%) occurred in a single patient. Neurologic adverse reactions leading to dose modification included dizziness (3%), gait disturbance (1%), delirium (1%), memory impairment (1%), and tremor (1%).1
Advise patients and caretakers of these risks with VITRAKVI. Advise patients not to drive or operate hazardous machinery if they are experiencing neurologic adverse reactions. Withhold or permanently discontinue VITRAKVI based on the severity. If withheld, modify the VITRAKVI dose when resumed.1
Hepatotoxicity: Among the 176 patients who received VITRAKVI, increased transaminases of any grade occurred in 45%, including Grade 3 increased AST or ALT in 6% of patients. One patient (0.6%) experienced Grade 4 increased ALT. The median time to onset of increased AST was 2 months (range: 1 month to 2.6 years). The median time to onset of increased ALT was 2 months (range: 1 month to 1.1 years). Increased AST and ALT leading to dose modifications occurred in 4% and 6% of patients, respectively. Increased AST or ALT led to permanent discontinuation in 2% of patients.1
Monitor liver tests, including ALT and AST, every 2 weeks during the first month of treatment, then monthly thereafter, and as clinically indicated. Withhold or permanently discontinue VITRAKVI based on the severity. If withheld, modify the VITRAKVI dosage when resumed.1
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: VITRAKVI can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Larotrectinib resulted in malformations in rats and rabbits at maternal exposures that were approximately 11- and 0.7-times, respectively, those observed at the clinical dose of 100 mg twice daily.1
Advise women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use an effective method of contraception during treatment and for 1 week after the final dose of VITRAKVI.1
Most Common Adverse Reactions (≥20%): The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were: increased ALT (45%), increased AST (45%), anemia (42%), fatigue (37%), nausea (29%), dizziness (28%), cough (26%), vomiting (26%), constipation (23%), and diarrhea (22%).1
Drug Interactions: Avoid coadministration of VITRAKVI with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (including grapefruit or grapefruit juice), strong CYP3A4 inducers (including St. John's wort), or sensitive CYP3A4 substrates. If coadministration of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers cannot be avoided, modify the VITRAKVI dose as recommended. If coadministration of sensitive CYP3A4 substrates cannot be avoided, monitor patients for increased adverse reactions of these drugs.1
Lactation: Advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with VITRAKVI and for 1 week after the final dose.5
Please see the full Prescribing Information for VITRAKVI® (larotrectinib).
About FoundationOne CDx
FoundationOne CDx is a next-generation sequencing based in vitro diagnostic device for detection of substitutions, insertion and deletion alterations (indels), and copy number alterations (CNAs) in 324 genes and select gene rearrangements, as well as genomic signatures including microsatellite instability (MSI) and tumor mutational burden (TMB) using DNA isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue specimens. FoundationOne CDx is intended as a companion diagnostic to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with certain targeted therapies in accordance with their approved therapeutic product labeling. Additionally, FoundationOne CDx is intended to provide tumor mutation profiling to be used by qualified health care professionals in accordance with professional guidelines in oncology for patients with solid malignant neoplasms. For a full list of targeted therapies for which FoundationOne CDx is indicated as a companion diagnostic, please visit http://www.foundationmedicine.com/genomic-testing/foundation-one-cdx3.
About Oncology at Bayer
Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The oncology franchise at Bayer includes five marketed products and several other assets in various stages of clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated.
About Foundation Medicine
Foundation Medicine is a molecular information company dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient's unique cancer. The company offers a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling assays to identify the molecular alterations in a patient’s cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials. Foundation Medicine’s molecular information platform aims to improve day-to-day care for patients by serving the needs of clinicians, academic researchers and drug developers to help advance the science of molecular medicine in cancer. For more information, please visit www.FoundationMedicine.com or follow Foundation Medicine on Twitter (@FoundationATCG)4.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
Sarah-Christine Wanner, +49 30 468-193178
Find more information at www.pharma.bayer.com/.
Contact Foundation Medicine:
Lee-Ann Murphy, +1 617-245-3077
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.